Introduction step2

Romaji (Romanized Japanese)

                            

 

There're two systems in Romaji.

1. The Kunreishiki system (Official System) :
  - shown in black
  - can be considered the most systematic
  - used in school education such as elementary school
 
2. The Hepburn system:
  -
shown in red
 
- most Japanese-English dictionariary use this system
  - easier to use for English speakers

  -Most of the Japanese textbooks use Hepburn system. 

          

Basic Japanese syllables:
  - There are 3 types, which are vowel, consonant plus vowel and n
. 


c/v

a

i

u

e

o

Consonant plus ya,yu,yo

k

ka

ki

ku

ke

ko

kya

kyu

kyo

s

sa

si

su

se

so

sya

syu

syo

 

 

shi

 

 

 

sha

shu

sho

t

ta

ti

tu

te

to

tya

tyu

tyo

 

 

chi

tsu

 

 

cha

chu

cho

n

na

ni

nu

ne

no

nya

nyu

nyo

h

ha

hi

hu

he

ho

hya

hyu

hyo

 

 

 

fu

 

 

 

 

 

m

ma

mi

mu

me

mo

mya

myu

myo

y

ya

yu

yo

 

 

 

r

ra

ri

ru

re

ro

rya

ryu

ryo

w

wa

 o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 o

 

 

 

N  n              

g

ga

gi

gu

ge

go

gya

gyu

gyo

                 

z

za

zi

zu

ze

zo

zya

zyu

zyo

 

 

ji

 

 

 

ja

ju

jo

d

da

zi

zu

de

do

zya

zyu

zyo

 

 

ji

 

 

 

ja

ju

jo

b

ba

bi

bu

be

bo

bya

byu

byo

p

pa

pi

pu

pe

po

pya

pyu

pyo

Note:
The syllables, yi,ye,wi,wu, and we donft occur in modern Japanese
.These are shown in pink.

There is a special gnh, which is not combined with vowels.

*Youfll understand about this table more precisely after studying Japanese
  pronuciation
in the next step.


 Column
There is still a debate about which system should be used. First of all, let's make a historical survey of Romaji. The Romaji first appeared in Japan in the Warring States period (the late 15th C. - the late 16th C). This is called
the Portuguese system Romanization, which was introduced by a missionary of Society of Jesus.
During Japan's period of isolation (1639-1854), Holland was the only trading parter of Tokugawa shogunate (government). This is called 
the Dutch system Romanization.
The Hepburn system Romanization
was introduced by an American,
James Curtis Hepburn(1815-1911). This was based on English pronunciation.
In 1937, Aikitsu Tanakadate, a geophysical scientist, originated
the Japanese stystem Romanization. The comformity with English pronunciation was removed from this system.
The Kunreishiki System Romanization was promulgated by the Cabinet, in 1937 and 1945.
As for the practical usage, there is a standard in each government office.
Japanese students study the Kunreishiki in elementary school. On the other hand, the Foreign ministry of Japan adopts the Hepburn system for the Passport's record. It seems that the Hepburn system is popular in Japan. However, these two ways exist actually together in a chaotic state among most of the people. 
It would be wise of you to master the correct Japanese pronunciation itself and the correct Japanese writing.

                                                                             


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